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Destiny Beta Experience

Updated on July 24, 2014

A New Breed

Anticipation has built up this game for over a year, and finally we have a short tease before the grand release. Other sources have indicated that this is no ordinary first person shooter; that Bungie has dared to combine the genre with mmo (massive multiplayer online) qualities. After playing through the available story mode and several hours of competitive matches, three components emerge to create a unique experience. A traditional fps interface synchronizes with character customization options and a perpetual multiplayer experience to bring us a dose of Destiny.


My Journey Becomes Yours

Comfy chair, beta installed – I'm ready to play. My Playstation 3 doesn't provide quite as impressive a display as next-gen consoles, but it looks fine nonetheless. Immediately into the game, I'm tasked with choosing one of three classes: Titan, Hunter, or Warlock. Each has its merits, but I'm a sucker for magic (Warlock). Next comes the plastic surgery, the browsing through races, faces and details until I create an arrangement that suits me. I sift through plenty of options, but I'm eager to start shooting bad guys. Once finished, my omniscient sidekick, ghost, tells me to run toward the nearby building. Naturally, I put off this command and experiment with the button schematics. Familiar enough so far, but I have no equipment, so testing is limited. Interestingly enough, I press right on the D-pad and my character begins to dance! Not sure how that helps me kill things, but he's got some moves. Moving on, I enter the dark building and pick up a rifle. Seconds later, I put it to use. I aim through my mounted sights and pull the trigger; already I'm addicted. Pew pew, head shots take down the Van–enemies. They're dead before I finish reading their names. Each time I hit one I see a number indicating the damage I've dealt; white for a normal hit and yellow for for finding its weak spot. Even days later, I find this feature gratifying. A rifle is fundamental, but I'm wondering where my grenades and special weapons are. Pretty soon, I level up; another pleasant surprise. At this moment, I discover the first unique attribute in Destiny. Everything, including my most basic of abilities, must be unlocked, and they are all unique to my class. This means no scavenging for weapons. Ammo must be gathered, but players must unlock all weapons to use them. Shortly after, I finish the mission and head for the guardian's base of operations: the Tower.

Never Alone

Here, I begin to discover what this game truly is. Contrary to my prior suppositions, I realize that this is not just a game with varying maps, it is truly an online world. Guardians run to and fro along the tower with gamer tags hanging above their heads. I take a moment to dance with some strangers, then go about my business. An atmosphere such as this is commonplace amongst mmo's, but it's a long overdue feature for consoles: especially shooters. While in the tower, shopkeepers offer services to help prepare me for the field. As I proceed to the next level, I'm reassured of a comforting notion; I will never be alone in Destiny. While I follow the course pertaining to my specific mission, other guardians roam the same map as me while carrying out objectives of their own. Sometimes, players work together to take down a group of baddies. If players have friends online, they can even join each other to complete the same campaign. Personally, I've never cared much for campaign modes in first person shooters, but fluid gameplay, accompanied by the satisfaction of leveling up, keeps me entertained. My final beta mission pairs me with two other guardians, with whom I must work with in order to survive and progress. One drops out, so it's just the two of us. When one dies, he must wait 30 seconds to respawn or have his teammate revive him. Teamwork is a must. Never have I felt so keen to help a stranger in a game, but we are in this together. In the end we succeed and part ways, but our temporary alliance delivered a positive connection and leaves me wanting more. Since story time has ended, I head to the Crucible; Destiny's matchmaking sector.

Test Your Skills

"The Crucible is not a challenge to be taken lightly," or so I'm told every time I lose a match. As expected, many players already have a firm grasp on matchmaking. For the beta, only one game mode is available, which mixes team death match with zone control. I quickly learn that everything I have unlocked can be used in the Crucible. While this seems exciting, it also scares me a bit. Depending on other player's build choices, I often find myself outgunned. Not only that, but spawn placement could use some work. Of the maps available, I prefer the smaller one, based in a temple-ruins type setting. Its close-quarter combat requires quick thinking and fast reactions. In contrast, the other map is much larger, residing in a snowy-base setting. Sniping enemies from afar becomes my highlight on this map, but heavily armed vehicles make gameplay frustrating at times. Regardless of the few hindrances, which will no doubt be fixed before the debut, Destiny's PVP combat generates an exciting, competitive atmosphere. (It's worth noting that as I was finishing this paragraph, I had entered the Tower and pressed down on the D-pad which makes the character sit down. To my delight, other players, whom I've never met, would sit down with me for minutes at a time and keep me company. Why? Because people are awesome.)

Cons

  • Matchmaking needs balance
  • That's all I got

Pros

  • Fully customizable character
  • Open online world
  • Addicting gameplay

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